Where To Build A New Home On An Acreage

I’m back with exciting news…

We’re going to build a new home! We live on 16 acres of land, some of it forested. It took me forever to decide where I wanted to put the house. (What a lucky problem to have!) If you’re shopping for land to build a house, or have an acreage and want to build; I can help you. Here are some things to consider when choosing a location to build a new home.

Do you dream of building your dream home on a piece of land? Here are some tips to help you choose where to build a new home.

Visablity

Do you want your near the entrance, or further back? That’s a personal choice, and purely aesthetic. Depending on the size and landscape of your plot, you can decide whether you want your home visible from the street or not. Your choice depends on ease of access and how much privacy you want.

Electric

The further you build from the nearest electric pole, the more expensive it gets. Your electric company will charge for each square foot they have to cover. They will usually clear the area of trees from the nearest pole to the build site, so find out how much they are willing to do before you pay to take down trees. Which brings us to…

Building A House: How To Choose A Location When Building A New Home

Clearing & Prep Work

How much clearing will you have to do? I originally wanted my house a bit further back, but there’s a forested area that would be pretty expensive to clear. Price shop for bulldozer and tree removal services and add it to your cost sheet if you are hiring out. Renting the machinery is a great option if you want to do the work yourself.

Soil

Make sure an experienced builder checks the area you want to build. You don’t want to do all that planning and clearing to find out you have a sinkhole! I also reccomend having your general contractor supervise when the pad is built. It’s important that he knows if there are any soft spots.

Well & Septic

If you’re rural, you’ll likely need to dig a well and septic tank. There are specific rules for that. The well has to be a certain distance uphill from your septic, and septic must be a certain distance from your home. Make sure you have enough cleared area when you choose where you’d like to build your home.

Building A House: How To Choose A Location When Building A House

Flooding

It’s ideal for your house to sit on a bit higher ground so that water runs away from the house. If you don’t have a higher area, or want to build in a lower position, talk to your builder about what precautions you can take to protect your home against water runoff. As a side note, check if land is flood zoned when shopping for property.

Existing Features

We have a really cool retaining wall (below) that’s over 100 years old. It’s a good distance away from the front door, and sort of defines the front yard area. I think it will “frame” the house nicely. I’m imagining some potted plants there.

Building A New House: Choosing Where To Build A New Home

Look for natural features that you can integrate into your yard, like boulders or amazing trees or shrubbery. Maybe you have an existing fence or garden you could work with.

View

Funny that view is the last thing in my list! But it was almost the last thing I got to consider. Finding a spot with the privacy I wanted in a location that wouldn’t break the bank was the hardest part. (Trees grow wherever the heck they want around here, electric poles and lines really eat the budget.)

On a larger plot of land, you can face your home in any direction you like. Imagine the view from each window, and determine where you need the most natural light.

I hope some of these tips help you if you’re building a home. I’ll keep you posted each step of the way, so follow along if you’re interested in the home building process.

P.S. Hello custom sewing room!

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DIY Fizzy Bath Soak Recipe

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Here’s a fun gift or a quick pick-me-up: DIY fizzy bath soak! Relax and enjoy this easy recipe. The best part is, your fizzy bath soak looks great and can provide inexpensive bathroom decor.

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Ingredients: 

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup citric acid

1/2 cup epsom salt

1 tsp water

2 tsp essential oil

3 tsp olive oil

food coloring

 

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Hint: Coordinate your scents and colors for a pleasing effect. We used a calming sea blue color with fresh linen scented essential oil for a spa-like effect.

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Combine your dry ingredients into a large bowl. Mix your wet ingredients into a seperate dish.

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Slowly add your wet mixture into the dry ingredients, a spoonful at a time.

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Whisk until color is evenly saturated and ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Your DIY fizzy bath soak should stick to itself a bit, but not hold its shape.

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Bath soak should be stored in an airtight container so that it doesn’t dry out.

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

Mason jars with colorful fizzy bath soak make cute bathroom decor, don’t you think?

DIY Fizzy Bath Soak

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New Year, Same Me | Sewing Goals

Say It Again

New Year, Same Asshole

I’m not making “resolutions” for 2016. Resolution means you are resolved and determined to do something. I’m just not that motivated, and I have commitment issues. But I do have a few sewing goals I’d like to aspire to, as well as blog ideas and gardening plans and…well; here’s the list!

No Motivation

Sewing Goals:

Brother CoverPro

Learn My Coverstitch: Get really familiar with my new Brother 2340 CV. (Amazon affiliate link*)

Textile Design: I’d like to learn about digital textile design, as well as experiment with fabric dye and techniques.

Tackle Fit Issues & Pattern Alterations:  Make friends with the FBA, swayback, and several other adjustments for women’s wear. Cuz I have a lot of fit issues.

Conscience Spending: Continue sewing through my stash and only making necessary purchases.

Blogging Goals:

I Don't Do New Years Resolutions

Site Redesign: I don’t like the colors of my header and sidebar items. Why did I choose circus colors?! I’ll probably keep the header but shift to a more calming color scheme.

Social Media: The SewsNBows Facebook page is seriously neglected. I need to do a better job promoting my posts within sewing groups, too. I’m not super committed because social media is so consuming; we’ll see. Balance and time management are key.

Etsy: Research marketing tips and other platforms for selling. My shop sales aren’t that good, I can market myself more productively.

Life Goals:

Say It Again

Gardening: Plan my garden well. I want to grow what we eat, then can it and eat it all year. 2 of my uncles also grow vegetables. If we each grow a couple of staple items, we could really stock our pantries and theoretically do less work. Perhaps 2 or 3 large gardens will be easier than 10 small ones?

Health: Move more, eat better. Blah blah. Living healthy is gross and annoying, but health problems would suck worse. I kind of want a Fitbit. Or someone to constantly slap the donut out of my hand.

Organization: Continue purging unneeded items, and refrain from impulse buying.

Financial: Keep saving money to build a house. Also watch for investment ops in commercial property. There’s an imminent housing boom coming… Dreaming here, but a future nail shop/boutique with my sister would be so awesome. Reality though; even if we just sat on a commercial property, the value should skyrocket for resell.

Einstein

Priorities: I don’t want to miss out any of life’s moments because I’m doing something on this list. I gotta be in the moment with my family. (And less addicted to Pinterest.)

Those are my very loose plans for 2016. What are your New Years resolutions? Did you eat yummy food for the holidays? I’d love to know!

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Farm Report: Fall 2015

Cuckoo Maran Egg

Time for a quarterly farm report! Let’s see what’s new, what we’ve learned and if any plans have changed.

Hay Bales

Remember in my summer farm post that we irresponsibly let our dog get pregnant? Well, 4 of the largest puppies went after our chickens, and there were 8 fatalities. Our lesson was:

Spay And Neuter Your Pets!

It was a sad day. We invested time and money into the chickens, and I was pretty sure we wouldn’t get eggs for a while due to the stress. It messed up our chicken to rooster ratio; and roosters had to be culled.

Spay and Nueter Your Pets

My calm, docile roosters also became aggressive towards us for several days following the massacre. We donated all but one to a tamale maker. We have built an enormous kennel for the dogs. Now our dogs and chickens have to take turns roaming around.

A New Family Member

We homed all our accidental puppies, and kept one for Bella. Lil’ Missus looks just like her mama. (Ugly!) Homing dogs was way harder than I thought. We got Brownie and her puppy fixed, so we won’t have to worry about more accidents.

An Investment Pays Off!

Cuckoo Maran Egg

We’ve been getting eggs since September. Right on time, despite our rookie mistake with the dogs. The first ones were smallish; but with practice, our cuckoo marans are laying almost a dozen big, beautiful eggs daily. We’re coming out ahead of what we’re spending on feed since eggs are so high right now, but egg production should slow down soon.

New Toy

Hubby and his brother bought a used four wheeler. My nephews have two kid-sized ones, so it’s a lot of fun ripping around the property.

Four Wheelers

I’m working 3 clearings to make a really fun path for riding. It’s a lot easier trimming trees and hauling brush, because we can hook a trailer up to the quad. There is a nice natural path that just needs to be tidied up a bit. There will be lots of forks, twists, and turns so traffic laws will be in place when multiple quads are in use. I’ve actually been looking for traffic signs. Why not give the kids a head start for driving real trucks?

Renovations

Bathroom Remodel

We remodeled the living room (which is actually a sun room addition) when we first moved in. Since then, Edson has painted our daughter’s room and is remodeling her bathroom. Her weird, shallow bathtub has been replaced with a modern shower. It’s a teeny wittle bathroom, but it’s a going to be a lot prettier now.

That leaves the dining sewing room, kitchen, laundry, pantry, and master bedroom firmly stuck in the 70’s. I’m not antsy to remodel at all.

Plans Change

We intend to build a house at the rear of the property. That’s a part of the reason why I don’t want to invest a lot in remodeling. But…renting this house a viable option that will pay half the mortgage, at least. Although I don’t want to share my space, I have to admit that it makes financial sense and we could really use some more manpower to keep up with the land. So since we’ll be in this house for a couple years, and probably rent it after that…I do think we need a few cosmetic updates. Sigh.

I also changed my mind about getting meat chickens this spring. Butchering chickens is a lot of work, and I can buy a whole chicken at the grocery store for less than an hour at minimum wage. I still want pigs, but just a couple for personal bacon. Ive learned it’s difficult to make money off livestock without a big operation and expensive equipment. Raising animals for meat doesn’t save money either. But you eat better, and give the animals a good life that they would not experience in most commercial operations.

I’m researching leasing the back half of my land for farming or livestock. I could make a little money and get some agricultural education if that works out. I’m not really sure where to start.

Nature Is Kicking My Butt

I’m losing the battle against the trees. We’ve already killed 2 chainsaws. Any reccomendations for a super heavy-duty chainsaw? Oh, all my pretty flower gardens got overgrown with weeds over the summer. I’m slowly working those in preparation for winter.

Overgrown Flower Beds

Lions And Tigers And…

Coyotes, oh my. A new housing edition to the East, overgrown jungle property adjoining a part of mine, and the sounds of prey animals have lured them to my farm. We’ve had 2 sightings just this week, dangerously close. They are very smart and hard to catch.

Chicken Coop

The plus side is I haven’t seen too many deer getting close. Remember, I’m still pissed at the entire deer population for eating up my pear harvest.

Fall Onions

My winter farm report might be more interesting. Maybe I’ll have some building plans to show you. I’m debating a small ranch style home or a classic farmhouse with a wrap around porch. It’s hard to find the smaller floor plan I need. More house = more cleaning, no thanks!

 

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Homecoming Bows & Flowers + Small Town Dynamic

Customized Team Homecoming Bows

Oh you guys, it’s been a crazy month, already! Last week was my daughter’s first homecoming ever. It was so fun! We’re sort of sad that football season is almost over.

Homecoming Bows

I made each cheerleader customized homecoming bows, assembly line style. These aren’t ordinary girls, so I didn’t make ordinary bows. No two are the same, but all have lots of goodies on them. Guess what my new secret weapon is? Nail charms…the little gems and things that nail techs use for manicures! I ordered mine on Amazon. Click my affiliate link there to see pages of nail charms.

Customized Team Homecoming Bows

It was my first year as a cheer mom. I was a dance mom for a couple years and it was okay, but cheer mom is right up my alley. Now I know about Pinktober and homecoming stuff, so next year I’m going to be ready. Below you can see (sort of) the Pinktober cheer bows I made the girls for breast cancer awareness. They also wear long pink socks and pink pom poms. None of the pinks match, which offends my obsessive controlling nature…but it’s very cute nonetheless. I’m going to try to insert myself as an official wardrobe manager next season…if the moms and coaches will put up with me. I will match them from bow to toe and glitter or bedazzle anything that can hold glue.

Homecoming Bows & Flowers

Also please admire my first ever flower bouquets. I wasn’t real sure how to make them, but I found a corsage and boutonnière tutorial at Diana Rambles and she made it look easy. For $20 I made a dozen of these. I can get a lot more stuff with more time to compare prices and bargain shop. I have big plans for 2016 bouquets, with nail files and polishes and lip gloss wired in. They’re gonna be insane.

Homecoming Bows, DIY Flowers and Small Town Dynamics

While I’m writing, I have to brag about my town. When I moved here I knew it would be a great place to raise my daughter. The dynamic is even more than I could have hoped for though. It feels like the whole town revolves around the kids. We have parades and dances and make up any excuse we can to keep them busy and active. At football and cheer practice it’s not uncommon to see every parent in town. High school football games practically create traffic jams on Friday nights! There are always people who complain about one thing or another, but coming from a big city to a small town like this…I can appreciate what we have. One year ago today I was praying to get away from big city life, and He answered. Praise!!!

I’m working on lots of things but I’m all over the place. Selfish sewing, doll clothes, hair accessories, destashing-I’m not sure what to even write about first. But I’ll be back soon with something or another:)

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